2010 story of the year

From the UK press …  truly a stunning article.

I don’t trust communists, and this article just reinforces that belief for me.

WTF are these chicom bastards up to?

 

Ghost Towns of China

 

Elaborate public buildings and open spaces are completely unused, with the exception of a few government vehicles near communist authority offices.

Some estimates put the number of empty homes at as many as 64 million, with up to 20 new cities being built every year in the country’s vast swathes of free land.

The photographs have emerged as a Chinese government think tank warns that the country’s real estate bubble is getting worse, with property prices in major cities overvalued by as much as 70 per cent.

Ghost city: Kangbashi was meant to be the urban centre for wealthy coal-mining community Ordos and home to its one million workers, but its roads are eerily empty and the houses stand vacant.

 

Much, much  more at the UK Daily Mail:        Ghost Towns of China

Busy news day

Lots going on today.  Here are a few headlines for your consideration …


China removed as top priority for spies

The decision downgrades China from “Priority 1” status, alongside Iran and North Korea, to “Priority 2,” which covers specific events such as the humanitarian crisis after the Haitian earthquake …

Obama Cuts Deal that Will Reduce Social Security, Medicare and all Entitlements
“While the Massachusetts voters were casting their ballots to install the upstart Republican Scott Brown to Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat, President Obama was hammering out an agreement with Democratic leaders to support a plan to issue an executive order to cut entitlements, including Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.”

SCOTUS rolls back McCain-Feingold
Writing for the court’s five conservatives, Justice Anthony Kennedy ruled that a central provision of the 2002 McCain-Feingold campaign finance act violated the First Amendment by restricting corporations from funding political messages in the run-up to elections.

Pelosi: House lacks votes to pass the Senate version of Obamacare
Pelosi threw cold water on the idea that the House could muster enough support to pass the Senate’s health bill, which includes a number of provisions liberals in the House find distasteful.

Obama looks to limit bank size, seeks new regulation
President Barack Obama, eager to harness and redirect voter anger over bank bailouts, is ramping up his war on Wall Street Thursday by pushing tougher regulation of big banks.

Is the market on the brink of a major correction?
Analysis from CNBC

And, finishing up with a nice opinion piece, “Rethinking Bush”
Why Didn’t the President Fight Back Against the MSM?

WSJ: cyberspies penetrate US power grid

from Wall Street Journal:
Cyberspies have penetrated the U.S. electrical grid and left behind software programs that could be used to disrupt the system, according to current and former national-security officials.

The spies came from China, Russia and other countries, these officials said, and were believed to be on a mission to navigate the U.S. electrical system and its controls. The intruders haven’t sought to damage the power grid or other key infrastructure, but officials warned they could try during a crisis or war.

“The Chinese have attempted to map our infrastructure, such as the electrical grid,” said a senior intelligence official. “So have the Russians.”

The espionage appeared pervasive across the U.S. and doesn’t target a particular company or region, said a former Department of Homeland Security official. “There are intrusions, and they are growing,” the former official said, referring to electrical systems. “There were a lot last year.”

Many of the intrusions were detected not by the companies in charge of the infrastructure but by U.S. intelligence agencies, officials said. Intelligence officials worry about cyber attackers taking control of electrical facilities, a nuclear power plant or financial networks via the Internet.

Authorities investigating the intrusions have found software tools left behind that could be used to destroy infrastructure components, the senior intelligence official said. He added, “If we go to war with them, they will try to turn them on.”

Obama moves toward trade war with China

President Obama’s Treasury Secretary nominee, Tim Geithner made statement today which will most certainly catch the attention of China. In a written response to questions submitted at his confirmation hearing, Geithner accused the Chinese government of currency manipulation.

“President Obama — backed by the conclusions of a broad range of economists — believes that China is manipulating its currency,” … {snip}
As an Illinois senator, Obama had co-sponsored legislation aimed at changing how the US government formally determines currency manipulation and authorizes new trade reprisal measures.

During the presidential campaign, he had accused China of suppressing its currency’s true strength to make its exports more competitive, echoing some US lawmakers who blamed the snowballing US trade deficit with China on the weak yuan and have sought sanctions against Beijing. AFP

This is a serious and fundamental policy shift, signaling a move against the Chinese. It is one that will have consequences, both seen and unforeseen. We can expect higher prices for imported goods, and a reduction in trade as China retaliates. We can expect fewer bond purchases by China which will drive bond prices down and boost yields – which, eventually, would cause borrowing costs for residential and some corporate customers to increase. The unforeseen consequences may actually make deflation more of a problem instead of less, as deleveraging and the unwinding of debt continues to impair corporate balance sheets.

I’ve got a bad feeling about this. I think we may have just passed a mile marker of some kind. The serious recession that we have endured for the last year may have just shifted into a 30’s style depression, fueled by bumbling politicians and an unnecessary trade war.

++++

This is the World Famous Friday Open Thread, a free speech zone. Track backs welcome.
WFFOT: Feeling all hopey-changey yet?

Linkfest Haven, the Blogger's OasisTrackposted to Blog @ MoreWhat.com, Rosemary’s Thoughts, third world county, Allie is Wired, Political Byline, Woman Honor Thyself, Walls of the City, The World According to Carl, DragonLady’s World, The Pink Flamingo, Leaning Straight Up, Democrat=Socialist, and Conservative Cat, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

Frogmarch, part 2

Yesterday I posted about the Chinese frogswarm in Sichuan Province, and a similar frogswarm in Bakersfield, CA.

Well, the frogs are marching again in Sichuan

For the second time this month, residents observed a huge migration of frogs and toads, the state-run Xinhua news agency said.

Residents of Zunyi, a southern city that saw little damage in China’s huge earthquake last week, noticed the amphibians’ march yesterday, Xinhua said, quoting Vice Mayor Zeng Yongtao.

Thousands of residents camped out in fear overnight in downtown Zunyi, the news agency said.

“We don’t know what else we can do,” Zunyi resident Liu Yong was quoted as saying.

A coincidence, a sign of the times, I dunno.

We live in interesting times.

Hong King schools close amid flu fears

Update from ABC News“Since March 6, health officials have recorded nine flu outbreaks,mostly at schools, affecting 532 people in the territory of nearly 7 million”

also, NP’s amyjudd reports

All kindergartens and junior schools in Hong Kong have closed early for their Easter holiday, after a flu-like illness killed three children.

The Education Bureau described the move as a “precautionary measure”.

More than 30 students from one school have showed flu-like symptoms and three children have died from apparently similar illnesses in recent weeks.


Experts are investigating a link to either bird flu or Sars
, a respiratory disease that hit Hong Kong in 2003.

Just when you thought flu season was over….

I went by the local hospital yesterday and asked them why they were extending the period for flu vaccinations. Normally flu season is over by the end of February, but this year, the CDC has extended the vaccination period to run through the end of March.
[cue spooky music]

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It ain’t cattle futures, but it ain’t too shabby

from Washington Times

The spring before his wife began her White House campaign, former President Bill Clinton earned $700,000 for his foundation by selling stock that he had been given from an Internet search company that was co-founded by a convicted felon and backed by the Chinese government, public records show.

Mr. Clinton had gotten the nonpublicly traded stock from Accoona Corp. back in 2004 as a gift for giving a speech at a company event. He landed the windfall by selling the 200,000 shares to an undisclosed buyer in May 2006, commanding $3.50 a share at a time when the company was reporting millions of dollars of losses, according to interviews.

Now, it is certainly possible that the Clinton’s reluctance to release their tax returns has nothing at all to do with this information. No one is saying that this was illegal.

But it sure doesn’t look good.

h/t Kearney,
also at the linkviewer

Linkfest Haven, the Blogger's OasisSpeaking of the Linkviewer, I gotta say, this is a pretty nifty thinkamajig. It is a great source of news, however, I’ve noticed that a lot of it is just recycled headlines from Free Republic. But, there are also a lot of headlines and interesting input from pro-Israel bloggers that you might not see otherwise.

Certainly worth a look-see.

THIS IS the World Famous Friday Open Thread……..A Free Speech Zone.

WFFOT: To boldly go where no thread has gone before! (trackbacks welcome)

=====

Trackposted to Diary of the Mad Pigeon, Rosemary’s Thoughts, Allie is Wired, Woman Honor Thyself, Right Truth, The World According to Carl, Pirate’s Cove, Global American Discourse, The Pink Flamingo, CORSARI D’ITALIA, , Conservative Cat, Right Voices, and The Yankee Sailor, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

US arrests 4 Chi-com spies

From BBC… File this under “Never Trust A Communist”

Four people have been arrested in the United States for allegedly passing secret defence information to China.

A 72-year-old former Boeing engineer is accused of giving China details about the space shuttle and other aerospace programmes.

In a separate case, two men and a woman are accused of handing over US defence department documents about Taiwan…

Chinese-born Dongfan “Greg” Chung, 72, of California, faces charges including eight counts of economic espionage, conspiracy, and making false statements to FBI investigators.

The US justice department said Mr Chung, a naturalised US citizen, worked in the aerospace industry for about 30 years – mostly at Rockwell International and Boeing on the space shuttle programme.

It added that he retired in 2002 but was working for Boeing as a contractor until 2006.

The charges claim he took Boeing trade secrets relating to the space shuttle, the C-17 military transport aircraft and the Delta IV rocket for the benefit of China.

He is also said to have sent China 24 secret manuals relating to the B-1 Bomber.

…If convicted, Mr Chung faces about 100 years in prison.In a separate case, a defence department employee and two others are accused of passing US government documents and information to China. The three suspects are Tai Shen Kuo, 58; Yu Xin Kang, 33; and Gregg William Bergersen, 51.

Mr Bergersen, a weapons systems policy analyst for an agency within the defence department, was charged with conspiracy to disclose national defence information “to persons not entitled to receive it”.

Tai Shen Kuo and Yu Xin Kang are charged “with conspiracy to disclose national defence information to a foreign government”.

Mr Kuo has Taiwanese and US passports and is alleged to have cultivated a relationship with Mr Bergersen to get information including details of potential sales of US military goods to Taiwan, according to court documents.

Ms Kang, a Chinese national living in the US, ferried information between Mr Kuo and Chinese officials, prosecutors said.

Mr Kuo and Ms Kang each face up to life in prison if convicted. Mr Bergersen faces up to 10 years in prison.

Inside the mind of America: the UK Press takes Virgina Tech tragedy as an opportunity to enjoy a bit of America Bashing.

TelegraphUK

“In the land of the verbally incontinent, Cho Sueng-hui was speechless. You can just imagine his kernel of resentment and jealousy being fed by the laughter and banter on campus until it became a festering cancer of hatred.”

Vimto writes – (he is having difficulty with the formatting today – apologies!) ….

It was hard to avoid the news of the Virginia Tech campus murders this week. Through a great deal of media speculation about the massacre one thing is sure – Cho Sueng-hui has got the posthumous publicity he craved. …. 

There has been an orgy of America bashing in the UK media (see the quote above for just one example). We seem to love to get proof that the American dream is corrupted and cancerous. And the media can sum up the cancer they perceive at the heart of the American dream in one word, ‘GUNS’.

Funny how the very same people who always want to look for deeper causes for gun and knife crime in this country are monosybillic when it comes to America – ‘Guns’ they cry. And that is that. Sorted.

Now it is not my intention to justify America but to try to get a Godly perspective on this terrible outrage.

Firstly the guy was clearly mentally deranged. As a Psychiatric Nurse I am convinced of that. But how much, (if at all) the mental illness absolved him from the moral responsibility of his actions only God knows. And anyway – he isn’t something so very strange, there are dangerous paranoids all over the globe. This isn’t about America. It’s about the human condition.

Secondly: the media searches for the underlying causes but they will not admit that the real and present danger is the deepest cause of all – it’s called ‘sin’. If you take away guns sin will manifest itself in new and perhaps more horrendous ways. Sin always finds a way to kill and terrorise. Just look around the world, people are crying ‘peace, peace’, but anyone with their eyes open knows there is no peace. Even in ‘so called’ peaceful nations. The world’s attention goes to Virginia Tech but ignores the blood on it’s own doorstep.

This week a few news items went under the radar. In Turkey 3 Christians were butchered – throat slit. Their crime? Distributing Bibles.

Click

In China over 40 Christians including a pastor’s wife were given forced abortions via injection. China carries out over 1 million forced abortions a year.

Click

The abortions carried out in the name of liberty in our countries accounts for nearly a quarter of our populations. Such carnage is abhorrent in the Lord’s eyes, though mostly hiden form ours. Unlike us, God does not get his news from the BBC or the Times or the Mirror. He sees into the very hearts of men.

To be a Christian, to be responsible Christian, requires us to see the world as God would have us do for “we have the mind of Christ”.

So I’ll leave Cho Sueng-hui to the judgement of God and I’ll pray for the students and families of those caught up in the Virginia Tech Massacre. Them I shall shut my mouth and stay silent.

And I’ll say to all who gloat over America’s tragedy – remove the log from you own eye, lest you be judged with the hypocrites.

May the Lord Jesus have mercy on us all.

(The above is my Pastor’s address in the fellowship notices).

         

More on melamine contamination

After this story broke a few weeks ago, most of us thought the worst was over with the recall of Menu Foods dog and cat food products. Unfortunately, it appears now that this story is only beginning…..

CERES, Calif. (AP) A Stanislaus County hog farm was placed under quarantine after an industrial chemical that’s tainted more than 100 brands of dog and cat food was found in pig urine there, state agriculture officials said late Thursday. source

Previous posts: –> Melamine contamination found in hog feed, Fraud? Tainted pet food may have been intentional

Also blogging: SoCalmuchacha

Melamine contamination found in hog feed

First it was melamine-laced wheat gluten in products from Canadian-based Menu Foods. Then contaminated rice protein supplement was found in canned and bagged pet food from California manufacturer Natural Balance Pet Food.

Now, another manufacturer has recalled food laced with melamine-contaminated corn gluten. And even more alarming is the growing possibility of contamination of the US food supply.

it appears that some of the contaminated rice protein concentrate made its way in to hog feed. The extent of the problem isn’t known. It’s also not known if hogs fed the contaminated food have made it into the human food chain, the FDA reported.

“We do understand that one of the companies that was manufacturing pet food had some pet food that was unfit for pets and it made its way into some hog feed,” Sundlof said. “We are following up on that.”

Meanwhile in South Africa, melamine has been found in Royal Canin pet food company’s Vets Choice and Royal Canin dry dog and cat food sold exclusively in South Africa and Namibia. The source of the melamine appears to be from corn gluten imported from China, according to published reports. source

UPDATE:  Is it more than just melamine contamination?

Scientific literature says melamine is not very toxic, says Steven Hansen, a veterinary toxicologist and director of the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center in Urbana, Ill.

Levels for the melamine were as high as 6.6% of the wheat gluten, FDA’s Sundlof says.

That would mean if a wet pet food contained even 5% wheat gluten, it would have 3,300 parts per million melamine, Hansen says.

But a study on dogs in 1953 fed them 30,000 parts per million of melamine for one year and “nothing happened,” says James Popp, president of the Society of Toxicology.  source

 

Either the 1953 study is wrong, or there is another toxin at work.

Gingrich the father of Anna Nicole’s Baby? — Fox News Alert

Update #4: “I told you so!”

NASSAU, Bahamas (AP) – Larry Birkhead is the father of Anna Nicole Smith’s baby, according to DNA tests, and the late reality TV star’s former boyfriend emerged from a court hearing Tuesday to proclaim that his daughter would soon be home.

Update #3: “The nude photospread at the link on the first Update will prove without a doubt the fact that I am speaking truth to power.” Blogger Nuke Gingrich’s latest comments come amid charges that his “denial” of being Anna Nicole’s Baby-daddy is in fact a cynical attempt to drive up traffic at his award-winning website. “That’s just ridiculous. There is no evidence to support those charges. I cannot imagine anyone using poor Anna Nicole like that. This photospread is proof positive that I am not the father of Danielynn. Do you see me in any of those photos? I rest my case”

Update #2: “Just give me what I want, and I’ll go away.” Right Wing Blogger Nuke Gingrich has reportedly changed his mind….”I want the house in the Bahamas.”

Update: Planck’s constant has a flicker photospread of anna nicole (sans clothing) in his sidebar. [Welcome WordPress Blog of the day — thank you readers. ]

——————————————————————————————-hat.JPG

Conservative blogger Nuke Gingrich came forward today and announced that he is not the father of Anna Nicole’s baby, Danielynn Hope.

“There is absolutely no truth to the rumor”, Nuke said, “And I have no idea how the rumor started. As a matter of fact, I didn’t even know it was a rumor.”

annanic.jpgAs the looming custody battle heated up, “ Smith’s mother flew to the Bahamas on Saturday to check on the child, but the big question — the identity of the baby’s father — will be decided in a courtroom.” Source

384433538_64963497cc1.jpgNukegingrich, known for his insightful news and comment, and his dry sense of humor, wondered aloud how such a rumor could get started. “Well, after n2l got two straight Top 50 Blog of the day posts, I guess I uhmm, somebody figured they had better do something to attract the search engine bots, this being such a hot story and the cable news networks are all Nicole all the time.”
Developing………………………………..

Thinking about excercise is good for you? Works for me!

Chi-coms quitting the party in droves

DOH points to a very interesting story regarding Red China…and the Chinese Communist Party:

From Dec. 03, 2004 to Mar. 31, 2007:

Grand total number of people quit CCP/AO:20,155,948
This month’s number of people quit CCP/AO:1,130,928
This week’s number of people quit CCP/AO:182,505
Yesterday’s number of people quit CCP/AO:31,427

That’s right people, you read that correctly…over 30 thousand resignations per day!

Atty Gao Zhisheng quotes from a Chinese website, so you fact checkers that speak the language are welcome to check it out for yourself.

The numbers are staggering. 20 million resignations from party membership in just over two years. Amazing.

China’s Communist Party gets a taste for the blogging craze

Around 20 officials from a town in eastern China have set up their own blogs after being encouraged by a local Communist Party leader, state media said…..

However, the Chinese journalists noticed that visitors to the site are not allowed to post their comments immediately, a fact the town’s computer department explains is simply a technical issue.

While the Communist government considers the Internet a useful tool in the economic development of the country, it also clamps down on any political opposition that appears there. Several blogs are regularly shut down by the authorities.

Reporters Without Borders said recently that “in a country where you can spend ten years in prison for some messages posted on the net, writing a political blog under your own name is a high risk activity.”

source

those of us who blog under a fictitious name understand the need for anonymity. However, the stakes are much higher when it is your life and welfare that are at risk….nuke.

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Stealth Spam

We all get spam in our e-mail. I’m convinced of it. Regardless of the filter, there will be the determined spammer who manages to get their message through.

Some of it is just plain strange. Like, the one that comes from some Chinese-sounding person, and the message is nothing but characters and numbers. Or the ones that ask for your assistance in settling the gozillion dollar estate of some Iraqi family whose pater was murdered by Saddam.

Last couple of days, I’ve gotten a new type of spam. I call it the stealth. You may recognize it…. you open your in box and see that there are 3 messages, but only 2 messages are visible to you. And you have to search for the next unread message, only to find that it is spam. Pretty clever. They’ve found a way to not only get by the spam filter, but also a way to make sure that you look specifically for their piece of mail…bastids

BTW, blogging will be light today, as I am heading out of town on a short business trip. Also, vimto has promised new comics for later today, featuring L’il Kim doing an Elvis impersonation. ROFL. I’ll post them this evening. >>>>nuke

Three Card Western

Amidst the handwringing, finger pointing, and political posturing that has followed in the aftermath of L’il Kim’s most recent attention-seeking ploy remains several cold, hard truths that are conveniently overlooked, if not avoided outright by the opinion shapers of the mass media.

Truth #1. Nothing has changed. The situation on the ground in North Korea is no different today than it was last week. Politically, however, a collective international consensus is emerging that draws attention to L’il Kim in a way that brings him not to center-stage, but to the center of the bulls-eye.

Truth #2. Whether or not the test was a successful detonation, an unsuccessful detonation, or a conventional detonation employed as a ruse, the unwillingness of the US to acknowledge the deed, but rather, to condemn the intent must be driving L’il Kim crazy. This deliberate American strategy allows intelligence to be gathered and observations to be made, keeping an eye on Iranian involvement.

Truth #3. Bush will play the China card, and China will respond. Certainly not because the Chinese want to help the Free World, but rather because of what China fears: a nuclear Japan, and a nuclear Taiwan.

Hang in there, folks. The NKorea situation is not as dire as our panic-stricken friends on the Left would have us believe.

Chi-comms hack US Gov’t Site

Chinese hackers have launched a sustained attack against the web systems of the US Department of Commerce.Security experts reckon attacks originating from computer crackers largely located in China’s Guangdong province are aimed at extracting sensitive information from targets such as the Commerce Department’s technology export office.

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